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Anger And Envy

Author Interview
Don Banting Author Interview

Burning Rage is a thrilling story following a woman who commits horrible acts and readers get to slowly understand how she’s become the person she is. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The impetus to write this book came from deep inside of me. Two main reasons compelled me to write Burning Rage. Firstly, when I was in junior high I had low self esteem. I had anger and envy. On the outside I appeared to many of my peers as cool, neat and one of the gang. But, it wasn’t until later in life I realized none of them were bullies. I was the only one. My friend’s and I would all play sports together, garden raid at night, and collect and trade football and hockey cards. But there was that one big difference. I bullied some of my classmates and they did not. I recall vividly two girls I insulted and bullied daily in junior high.

Near the end of grade nine I started to develop acne. And by the beginning of grade ten my acne was bad. My self esteem plummeted even lower. I was depressed, sad, and isolated myself. I did not want to have friends. Karma is true. I was now the one being bullied and insulted. I felt like an outcast. A solitary single lonely kid. Insults such as “ pizza face” and connect the dots” were directed to me by many students. I kept to myself and avoided having friend’s. To avoid these insults I would not go to my classes from walking in the hallway. I went outside even in the cold winter to walk around the school to get to the closest doors by my class. To avoid hearing the insults. The second inspiration I had was that I knew a woman that talked to me a lot about her wretched childhood and adult life. She had much sadness but mixed with that sadness was a lot of anger. She mentioned several times that she would get back at everyone that teased her and degraded her. She was very vigilante, did not trust anyone and was a recluse.

Jess is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Being the main character I knew I had to convey to the reader Jess’s inner thoughts and feelings. I had to help the audience understand Jess’s childhood, teen life and young adult life. It was important to attempt to justify her actions. Her anger her frustration her disgust for society. In my first published book I recall writing about a psychologist stating “ no one knows an individuals mind and reasoning better than the person themselves.”

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Certainly bullying. Bullying can lead to devastating life changes, choices and even death. Lifelong bullying and loneliness can be a formula for disaster. How the human psyche deals with constant torment and loneliness is never easy to understand. As we have read and seen in the news over the last several years bullying is a social issue that needs to be curtailed drastically. And loneliness. Loneliness is often overlooked but is extremely harmful to the mind.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have had the title “ Octagon” in my mind for a few years now. Not to give too much away here is the logline: Four young aspiring female MMA competitors are lured to a desolate training facility, only to be weakened by psychological and physical torture. I usually write the screenplay first then adapt it into book format.

Book Review

Burning Rage

Burning Rage follows a woman named Jess who is unhinged due to a childhood full of bullying and loneliness. After a string of arson attacks, and a kidnapping, readers are taken into the depths of Jess’s mind and history and we get to truly understand the extent of her insanity and the origin of it.

The way the author has used multiple narratives in all of the chapters is done to riveting effect. Breaking each section down using the year is key when journeying back to the events that made Jess who she is in the present. I enjoyed the back and forth because its handled well and I always knew where we were in the story’s timeline. The third person gives us a good understanding of the character, which I really enjoyed, but I felt that there were a few places the narrative voice changed point of view, along with a switch in tense, that made things just a bit confusing at times. Otherwise, this is an intriguing story with a riveting character driving us forward.

Don Banting has created an suspenseful story, and the way multiple stories converge is done very well. Also, the sense of time and year is written with exceptional imagery such as ‘her jeans dragging along the Berber carpet, making a swish..’ This aspect really helps the reader to imagine what it was like at that time and assists allows them to visualize the characters.

The title given to this book is very appropriate as, by the end of the story, readers will have a full appreciation for Jess’s character, both the good and the horribly bad. This is an engrossing psychological thriller that is darkly intriguing. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a compelling crime thriller with a scary but alluring villain at its core.

Pages: 220


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